Iranian presidential election, 2009

Iranian presidential election, 2009

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Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamic Republic News Agency
The Islamic Republic News Agency , or IRNA, is the official news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is government-funded and controlled under the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The agency also publishes the newspaper Iran. , the Managing Director of IRNA is Ali Akbar...

, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election with 62% of the votes cast, and that Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

 had received 34% of the votes cast. The European Union, the United Kingdom the United States, and several western countries expressed concern over alleged irregularities during the vote
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

, and many analysts and journalists from the United States, Europe and other western based media voiced doubts about the authenticity of the results. Meanwhile many OIC
Organisation of the Islamic Conference
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Upon the groups's renaming, some sources provided the English-language translation "Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation", but and have since indicated the preferred English translation omits the "the". is an international organisation consisting of 57...

 member states, as well as Russia, China, India, and Brazil congratulated Ahmadinejad on his victory.

Mousavi issued a statement saying, "I'm warning that I won't surrender to this charade," and urged his supporters to fight the decision, without committing acts of violence. Protests, in favour of Mousavi and against the alleged fraud
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

, broke out in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

. Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

 Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

 urged the nation to unite behind Ahmadinejad, labeling his victory as a "divine assessment". Mousavi lodged an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on 14 June. On 15 June, Khamenei announced there would be an investigation into vote-rigging claims, which would take seven to ten days. On 16 June, the Guardian Council
Guardian Council
The Guardian Council of the Constitution , also known as the Guardian Council or Council of Guardians, is an appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran....

 announced it would recount disputed votes. However, Mousavi stated that 14 million unused ballots were missing, giving a chance to manipulate the results. On 29 June, Iran's electoral board completed the partial recount and concluded that Ahmadinejad had won the election; this was protested by opposition parties.

The President of Iran
President of Iran
The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

 is the highest official elected by direct popular vote, but does not control foreign policy or the armed forces. Candidates are vetted by the Guardian Council
Guardian Council
The Guardian Council of the Constitution , also known as the Guardian Council or Council of Guardians, is an appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran....

, a twelve member body consisting of six clerics (selected by Iran's Supreme Leader
Supreme Leader of Iran
The Supreme Leader of Iran is the highest ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The post was established by the constitution in accordance with the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists...

) and six lawyers (proposed by the head of Iran's judicial system and elected by Parliament).

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn into his second term in office on 5 August, in an inauguration ceremony that was boycotted by many opposition leaders.

Background


Ahmadinejad became President of Iran after the 2005 election
Iranian presidential election, 2005
Iran's ninth presidential election took place in two rounds, the first on June 17, 2005, the run-off on June 24. Mohammad Khatami, the previous President of Iran, stepped down on August 2, 2005, after serving his maximum two consecutive four-year terms according to the Islamic Republic's constitution...

. The losing candidates at that time claimed irregularities at the polls, but the charges were not investigated. A formal protest to the Guardian Council was made and the group dismissed it without comment. His victory had surprised most observers of the campaign. At that time the reformist camp had mostly either boycotted elections entirely or held back out of disillusionment with past lack of progress. The voting for the 2009 election was scheduled for 12 June 2009 and ended up being extended until midnight that day because the turnout was unexpectedly high. Voting ended up proceeding four hours longer than originally scheduled.

The President is elected by direct vote, however candidates for the presidency must be approved by the 12-member Council of Guardians. Candidates need to win a majority
Majority
A majority is a subset of a group consisting of more than half of its members. This can be compared to a plurality, which is a subset larger than any other subset; i.e. a plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset may consist of less than half the group's population...

 (more than half) to become President. Iran has a two-round system
Two-round system
The two-round system is a voting system used to elect a single winner where the voter casts a single vote for their chosen candidate...

: if none of the candidates wins the majority in the first round, the top two candidates will go to a run-off. The first round was held on 12 June 2009; the run-off would have been held one week later, on 19 June 2009. All Iranian citizens of age 18 and up are eligible to vote. Both the Iranian Center for Statistics and the Iranian Ministry of the Interior have stated that there are around 46.2 million eligible voters.

Candidates



On 20 May 2009, the Guardian Council officially announced a list of approved candidates, while rejecting a number of registered nominees. Only four candidates were approved by the Guardian Council, out of the 476 men and women who had applied to seek the presidency of Iran in the 2009 election.

Approved candidates


Conservatives
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, incumbent
  • Mohsen Rezaee
    Mohsen Rezaee
    Mohsen Rezaee Mirgha'ed, also spelled Rezai and Rezaie , born Sabzevar Rezaee Mirgha'ed , is an Iranian politician, economist and former military commander, currently the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran...

    , former Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and current secretary of the Expediency Council


Reformists
  • Mehdi Karroubi
    Mehdi Karroubi
    Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

    , former Speaker of the Majlis
    Majlis of Iran
    The National Consultative Assembly of Iran , also called The Iranian Parliament or People's House, is the national legislative body of Iran...

  • Mir-Hossein Mousavi
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

    , the last Prime Minister of Iran
    Prime Minister of Iran
    Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

     (Campaign
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi presidential campaign, 2009
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh served as the last Prime Minister of Iran, from 1981 to 1989, before the position of Prime Minister was abolished in the 1989's review of the Iranian constitution. After 20 years of absence from the political scene of Iran, on March 9, 2009 he announced his candidacy...

    )

Rejected candidates


Conservatives
  • Rafat Bayat
    Rafat Bayat
    Rafat Bayat is an Iranian politician and former parliament member. She was denied candidacy for both the 9th Iranian presidential election and the 10th Iranian presidential election by the Guardian Council....

    , female Majlis representative from Zanjan
    Zanjan (city)
    Zanjan is the capital of Zanjan Province in northwestern Iran. It is an Azeri inhabited city. It lies 298 km north-west of Tehran on the main highway to Tabriz and Turkey and approximately 125 km from the Caspian Sea...



Independents
  • Akbar Alami, former Majlis representative from Tabriz
    Tabriz
    Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

  • Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi
    Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi
    Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi is a former member of Iranian parliament and a Professor of law at the University of Tehran.-References:...

    , former Majlis representative

Withdrawn candidates

  • Mohammad Khatami
    Mohammad Khatami
    Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

    , former President of Iran
    President of Iran
    The President of Iran is the highest popularly elected official in, and the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; although subordinate to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state...

    , endorsed Mousavi. (See article on Khatami presidential campaign
    Mohammad Khatami presidential campaign, 2009
    Mohammad Khatami, former President of Iran, announced his candidacy for 2009 Iranian presidential election on February 8, 2009. Khatami later pulled out of the race.-Campaign events:...

    for details.)

Declined candidates


The following people were said to be possible candidates in the election, but did not register within the five days allowed for registration.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...

, former President and chairman of the Assembly of Experts
Assembly of Experts
The Assembly of Experts of Iran , also translated as Council of Experts, is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.Members of the assembly are elected from a government-screened list of candidates by...

, would have been over 75 years old on the election day and therefore ineligible to run by election law.

Conservatives
  • Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
    Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
    Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf is the current Mayor of Tehran, Iran.-Early life and military career:Ghalibaf was born to a Khorasani Kurdish father and a Persian mother. At the age of nineteen, he was one of the commanders of the defense forces during the Iran–Iraq War...

    , Mayor of Tehran
  • Gholamali Haddad-Adel, former Speaker of the Majlis
  • Mohammad Jahromi, Iranian Minister of Labor and Social Affairs
  • Ali Larijani
    Ali Larijani
    Ali Ardashir Larijani is an Iranian philosopher, politician and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Larijani was the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from August 15, 2005 to October 20, 2007, appointed to the position by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,replacing Hassan Rowhani...

    , speaker of the Majlis
  • Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, former Speaker of the Majlis
  • Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, former Minister of the Interior
  • Ali Akbar Velayati
    Ali Akbar Velayati
    Ali Akbar Velayati is an Iranian politician, academic and diplomat. He was the Foreign Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1997...

    , Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Minister of Foreign Affairs (Iran)
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an Iranian government ministry. The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Cabinet member in charge....

     1981–97


Reformists
  • Mohammad Reza Aref
    Mohammad Reza Aref
    Mohammad Reza Aref is an Iranian academic, electrical engineer and politician and a professor at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. From 2001 to 2005, he was the Vice President of Iran under President Mohammad Khatami. He was succeeded by Parviz Dawoodi.Aref was a chancellor of the...

    , former First Vice President
  • Masoumeh Ebtekar
    Masoumeh Ebtekar
    Masoumeh Ebtekar is an Iranian scientist, journalist and politician. She is currently the director of Peace and Environment Center in Tehran.Ebtekar first achieved fame as the spokeswoman of the students who had occupied the US Embassy in 1979...

  • Mohammad Ali Najafi
    Mohammad Ali Najafi
    Mohammad Ali Najafi is an Iranian politician and university professor in mathematics. He was Minister of Science and Technology in the Cabinet of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and after that Minister of Education...

    , member of the Tehran City Council and former Minister of Education
  • Abdollah Nouri, former Minister of Interior, former Speaker of Tehran City Council
  • Hassan Rowhani
    Hassan Rowhani
    Hassan Rowhani is an Iranian politician and cleric, and as of March 2007, a member of the Supreme National Security Council. Rowhani's membership in the council is as one of the two representatives of the Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran...

    , former Secretary of National Security Council

Background


The incumbent was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian reform movement attempted to unite behind a single candidate; former President Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

 had been the leading opponent to Ahmadinejad in some opinion polls until he withdrew and endorsed former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

. Former Speaker of the Majlis Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

, another Reformist, was also running, as was former Commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rezaee
Mohsen Rezaee
Mohsen Rezaee Mirgha'ed, also spelled Rezai and Rezaie , born Sabzevar Rezaee Mirgha'ed , is an Iranian politician, economist and former military commander, currently the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran...

, a Conservative with a reputation of political pragmatism. The election marked a return to the public spotlight for Mousavi, who had not received much attention since he served as Prime Minister in the 1980s. Reformist opinions galvanized around him as the election grew nearer. He became the symbol for a groundswell of youthful democratic sentiment, despite his personal background and his political views.

The Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

has described the campaign as "unusually open by Iranian standards, but also highly acrimonious." It was marked by heated rhetoric between the incumbent and his challengers. Mousavi and two other candidates said Ahmadinejad had lied about the state of the economy, which was suffering from high inflation and a fall in oil revenues from last year's record levels. Ahmadinejad responded by comparing his opponents to Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, adding that they could be jailed for their comments. "No one has the right to insult the president, and they did it. And this is a crime. The person who insulted the president should be punished, and the punishment is jail... Such insults and accusations against the government are a return to Hitler's methods, to repeat lies and accusations... until everyone believes those lies," Ahmadinejad said.

Debates about the economy
Economy of Iran
The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest in the world by purchasing power parity and according to Iranian officials' claims is going to become the 12th largest by 2015. The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector and some 50% of the economy centrally planned...

 played the biggest role in the campaign, with the global economic recession
Late 2000s recession
The late-2000s recession, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession or Lesser Depression or Long Recession, is a severe ongoing global economic problem that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008. The Great Recession has affected the entire world...

 looming in people's minds. About one in five Iranians live under the poverty line, inflation is at about 25 percent, and unemployment is at over 12.5 percent (some unofficial estimates report it as 30 percent). Mousavi advocated further privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 of the economy towards a free market with a tight monetary policy
Monetary policy
Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest for the purpose of promoting economic growth and stability. The official goals usually include relatively stable prices and low unemployment...

 in comparison to Ahmadinejad's populist
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 fiscal policy
Fiscal policy
In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government expenditure and revenue collection to influence the economy....

, with Ahmadinejad making measures to fight poverty a key principle in his campaign. Mousavi drew his electoral base from the middle and upper classes while Ahmadinejad drew support from the urban poor and rural residents. Civil servants, police officers, pensioners, and others dependent on the government also contributed to Ahmadinejad's base. He made financial support from the business class against him into a theme of attack. BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 has described his campaign as "one that foresees the death of capitalism".

Mousavi also criticized Ahmadinejad for diplomatically isolating Iran by denying the Holocaust and making anti-Western speeches. He opposed the government's current strict enforcement of Islamic dress and social behavior as well, calling for an end to the regime's 'Vice Police'. He advocated letting private individuals and groups own Iranian media. Both candidates strongly supported further development of the Iranian nuclear program. However, Mousavi advocated a less combative and tense tone with other nations about the program. He also floated the idea of an international consortium overseeing uranium enrichment in Iran. The BBC stated about Mousavi that "[i]n foreign affairs, he seems to be offering little change on major issues". Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 Senior Fellow Mohamad Bazzi has stated that "[i]f Mousavi wins, it could create a new opening for dialogue with the United States. Ahmadinejad's continued presence would be a major obstacle". Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

 has also remarked that a Mousavi victory would mean closer ties to the U.S.

The campaign was the most expensive in the Islamic republic's history, with the two main candidates spending more than tens of millions of dollars in bid to convince voters to support them. Funds were spent on, among other things, a mass distribution of computerized propaganda, such as CDs and DVDs. Another interesting phenomenon which took place during the campaign was a dramatic rise in the number of text messages sent to Iranian cell phone subscribers, from 60 million messages a day to some 110 million. Mousavi adopted the traditional Islamic color, green, as a campaign symbol. Young male supporters wore green ribbons tied around their wrists and young female supporters wore green headscarves. Activists used the term 'Change' as his main slogan, chanting phrases such as "Green change for Iran", "Together for change", and "Vote for change".

Debates


Between 2 and 8 June 2009 Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster, or IRIB, , formerly called the National Iranian Radio and Television until the Islamic revolution of 1979, is a giant Iranian corporation in control of radio and television which is among the largest media organizations in Asia and Pacific region, and a regular...

 broadcast nightly debates on TV channel IRIB 3 between two candidates at a time, with each candidate facing the others once. This was the first time Iran had held televised debates between candidates. Each debate lasted for around one and a half hours. During the debate on 3 June between President Ahmadinejad and reformist rival, former Prime Minister Mousavi, Ahmadinejad made accusations regarding former presidents Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

 and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...

 and the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

. Rafsanjani responded to these charges on 9 June in an open letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei requesting that he step in to rebuke Ahmadinejad for his comments at the debate.

Polling


The opinion poll
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

s in Iran have been considered unreliable. A number of polls conducted between relatively small voting groups, like university students and workers, have been reported as election propaganda. More general polls reported in the media do not state the polling organization nor the basic facts about the methodology. The results show a high variance and depend heavily on who is reporting the poll. In 2002, the polling organization Ayandeh
Ayandeh (polling organisation)
Ayandeh is an opinion poll organisation in Iran that was closed down in 2002.One of Ayandeh's directors, Abbas Abdi, was arrested in at his home on 4 November 2002, accused of "having received money from either the US polling firm Gallup or a foreign embassy". Abdi spent several years in prison...

 and another polling organization was closed and its directors were arrested. The director of Ayandeh, Abbas Abdi
Abbas Abdi
Abbas Abdi is one of Iran's most influential reformists, journalist, self-taught sociologist and social activist.Abdi studied Polymer engineering at Poly Technique University in Tehran. He was a member of editorial board of Salam newspaper...

, spent several years in prison.

Mousavi's and Karroubi's campaign posters in Tehran claimed that a high turnout would reduce Ahmadinejad's chance of winning the election. Karroubi's campaign manager, Gholamhossein Karbaschi
Gholamhossein Karbaschi
Gholamhossein Karbaschi is an Iranian politician who was the Mayor of Tehran from 1989 until 1998. He is considered politically reformist and is a close ally of former president Mohammad Khatami...

, claimed that the chance of Ahmadinejad losing the election would be over 65 percent if over 32 million people voted, but less than 35 percent if less than 27 million people voted.

An independent poll, conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow: The Center for Public Opinion, a nonprofit institute that researches attitudes toward extremism, found that Ahmadinejad was leading by a margin of 2 to 1. 34% said they would vote for Ahmadinejad, 14% favored Mousavi, 2% favored Karroubi, 1% favored Rezaee and 27% were undecided. The poll was taken from 11 May to 20 May. The poll was carried out by a company whose work for ABC News and the BBC in the Middle East has received an Emmy award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

. Polling itself was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

. Writing in the Washington Post, pollsters Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty have used this to suggest that Ahmadinejad's apparent victory might reflect the will of the Iranian people. The poll was quoted by Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

, Khaleej Times
Khaleej Times
The Khaleej Times is a daily English language newspaper published in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Traditionally perceived as the second most popular newspaper in the UAE, Khaleej Times has struggled to keep up its circulation and entered 2011 with a print run of just under 40,000 copies...

and Jim Muir of BBC News. However, the Irish Times, while quoting the poll, also pointed out that it was taken three weeks before the election, and electoral campaigning in Iran is only allowed for a period of 30 days prior to the election date, which means this poll was conducted only one week into the campaigning. Another critic of the poll, Mansoor Moaddel, pointed out that of "1,731 people contacted [by the poll], well over half either refused to participate (42.2%) or did not indicate a preferred candidate (15.6%)." Though it is quite useful to mention here that the average response rate in US for such telephonic surveys doesn't exceed 30%. This is while the minimum response rate for an opinion poll to be considered scientific by many leading academic journals is 50%.,

A post-election national poll was conducted in late August and early September 2009 by the American polling agency, World Public Opinion, which is affiliated to the University of Maryland. Of the initial 46% respondents of the poll, 27% did not state their chosen candidate, 55% said that they had voted for Ahmadinejad. Both Mr Karroubi and Mr Rezai received minimal support. 87% of respondents replied that they had voted compared to 85% according to the official figures, which is within the margin of error provided. Also, the survey found that 62% of Iranians had "strong confidence" in the election result whilst 64% expressed a similar feeling towards the incumbent president. This finding almost exactly matches up with the proportion of the vote that Ahmadinejad received.

Polls by Western Organizations

Polling organisation Date Poll details Candidate
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

Mohsen Rezaee
Mohsen Rezaee
Mohsen Rezaee Mirgha'ed, also spelled Rezai and Rezaie , born Sabzevar Rezaee Mirgha'ed , is an Iranian politician, economist and former military commander, currently the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran...

ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 and BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...


New America Foundation
New America Foundation
The New America Foundation is a non-profit public policy institute and think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, CA. It was founded in 1999 by Ted Halstead, Sherle Schwenninger, Michael Lind and Walter Russell Mead....

May 11–20, 2009 Nationwide; 1001 people, error margin +/-3.1% (27% undecided); (59% satisfied, 23% unsatisfied) 34% 2% 14% 1%
Global Scan June 2009 reported by International Peace Institute
International Peace Institute
The International Peace Institute is an independent non-profit research and policy development institution based in New York. IPI specializes in multilateral approaches to peace and security issues, working closely with the Secretariat and membership of the United Nations...

 and Charney Research
56% 42%
University of Maryland
University of Maryland
When the term "University of Maryland" is used without any qualification, it generally refers to the University of Maryland, College Park.University of Maryland may refer to the following:...

June 2009 reported by International Peace Institute
International Peace Institute
The International Peace Institute is an independent non-profit research and policy development institution based in New York. IPI specializes in multilateral approaches to peace and security issues, working closely with the Secretariat and membership of the United Nations...

 and Charney Research
61% 37%
WPO (World Public Opinion) Sept. 9, 2009 Post-election national poll;1003 respondents in 30 provinces 55% 1% 14% 3%
WPO (World Public Opinion)
On behalf of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

 and the Calvert Foundation
Aug. 27- Sept. 10, 2009 Nationwide; stratified using provincial telephone area codes with random number generation. Around 83% of respondents reported some (21%) or a high level (62%) of confidence in the declared election results, while 13% percent reported little or no confidence in the results. 55%
49% (if new election held)
Unknown 14%
13% (if new election held)
Unknown
Charney Research Aug. 30 - Sept. 7 2010 Nationwide, error margin +/-3.5%, ( the governments crackdown on post-election protests: 59% was correct, 19% went too far, 10% refused to answer). 58% 36%

Polls by Iranian Organizations

Polling organisation Date Poll details Candidate
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi
Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

Mohsen Rezaee
Mohsen Rezaee
Mohsen Rezaee Mirgha'ed, also spelled Rezai and Rezaie , born Sabzevar Rezaee Mirgha'ed , is an Iranian politician, economist and former military commander, currently the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran...

Rahbord Danesh, reported by Tabnak 5 March 2009 Nationwide 44% 7% 13% 0%
Worker's Statistical Institute late March 2009 Nationwide survey of workers 36% 8% 52% Unknown
Rahbord Danesh, reported by Tabnak 4 April 2009 Nationwide 40% 8% 24% 1%
Government before 3 May 2009 Unknown 54% (45% in Tehran) Unknown 22% (29% in Tehran) Unknown
reported by Rajanews/Press TV
Press TV
Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by the Iranian government. Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran, with bureaux in Beirut , Damascus , London , Seoul and Washington DC ....

3 May 2009–4 May 2009 62 cities 59% Unknown 22% Unknown
Rahbord Danesh, reported by Tabnak 5 May 2009 Nationwide 38% 12% 32% 15%
Etemad-e-Melli
National Trust Party (Iran)
National Trust Party , also translated as National Confidence Party, is an Iranian political party based on reformist and populist message. NTP was established in 2005 by former Parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi following his controversial defeat in 2005 presidential election...

before 13 May 2009 Nationwide 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
reported by Ayandeh News before 26 May 2009 10 major cities 34% Unknown 38% Unknown
reported by Ghalamnews
(official Mousavi website)
before 27 May 2009 1650 people 35% Unknown 54% Unknown
ISPA (Iranian Students Polling Association) 29 May 2009 National, 11285 people 54.8 4.7 21.3 2.6
Young Journalists Club (IRIB
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster, or IRIB, , formerly called the National Iranian Radio and Television until the Islamic revolution of 1979, is a giant Iranian corporation in control of radio and television which is among the largest media organizations in Asia and Pacific region, and a regular...

 affiliated)
before 30 May 2009 Nationwide; 30,000 people 2nd 3rd 1st 4th
Baznevis, reported by Tabnak before 31 May 2009 Nationwide; 77,058 people 33% 3% 36% 27%
Aftab News, reported by Tabnak before 31 May 2009 Nationwide; 18,391 people; (Who will you not vote for?) 28% 7% 62% 4%
Rahbord Danesh, reported by Tabnak 31 May 2009 Nationwide 32% 6% 36% 27%
reported by Rajanews/Press TV
Press TV
Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by the Iranian government. Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran, with bureaux in Beirut , Damascus , London , Seoul and Washington DC ....

before 1 June 2009 major cities 53% Unknown 36% Unknown
Rahbord e Danesh, reported by Tabnak before 3 June 2009 1743 people 29.5% 7.5% 37.5% 25.2%
reported by ILNA
Iranian Labour News Agency
Iranian Labour News Agency is an Iranian news agency. It was launched in Tehran on February 24, 2003, and provides extensive coverage of the country's workforce....

before 5 June 2009 Nationwide 300,000 people 24.61% 10.72% 54.53% 10.14%
alleged Iranian government funded polls, leaked and reported by Newsweek before 6 June 2009 nationwide 6-8 millions Unknown 16-18 millions Unknown
IRIB, reported by Alef before 7 June 2009 more than 16,000 people, 30 major cities in each Province 62.7 Unknown 25.7 Unknown
reported by Alef before 8 June 2009 Major cities 61.7 Unknown 28 Unknown
reported by Rooz Online
Rooz
Rooz is a Persian and English news website. It is mostly staffed by exiled Iranian journalists including Masoud Behnoud, Ebrahim Nabavi and Nikahang Kowsar with occasional articles by activists and journalists inside Iran, including Shirin Ebadi and Ahmad Zeidabadi...

before 9 June 2009 Nationwide; 7900 people 23% Unknown 54%–57% Unknown
Rahbord e Danesh, reported by Tabnak before 9 June 2009 1743 people 25.5% 6.1% 37.6% 30.8%
ISPA (Iranian Students Polling Association) 10 June 2009 National 47 Unknown 31 Unknown

Irregularities



Pre-election violence


On 1 June, a campaign office of Ahmadinejad's primary opponent, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, was torched. The office was located in the city of Qum, in northwest Iran. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. At the same time, it was reported that an assassination had been attempted against former president Mohammad Khatami by means of a bomb placed on an aircraft he was to board.

Blocking of communications


Mobile phone communications were interrupted in Tehran on election day and the BBC has stated that "heavy electronic jamming
Radio jamming
Radio jamming is the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal to noise ratio. Unintentional jamming occurs when an operator transmits on a busy frequency without first checking whether it is in use, or without being able to hear stations using the frequency...

" was being used to halt their broadcasts. On 23 May 2009, the Iranian government temporarily blocked access to Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 across the country. Gulfnews.com reported that this move was a response to the use of Facebook by candidates running against Ahmadinejad. PC World reported that Mousavi's Facebook page had more than 6,600 supporters. Access was restored by 26 May 2009.

Alleged vote rigging or coup attempt


In an interview taken after third partial results were announced, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf is an Iranian film director, writer, editor, and producer. During 2007 he was the president of Asian Film Academy.Makhmalbaf's films have been widely presented in international film festivals in the past ten years. The multi-award-winning director, belongs to the new wave...

 said he was told that there was to be a coup on Saturday. Makhmalbaf
Makhmalbaf
Makhmalbaf is an Iranian surname and may refer to:* Mohsen Makhmalbaf , Iranian film director* Samira Makhmalbaf , Iranian film director, daughter of Mohsen Makhmalbaf...

 also claimed to be Mousavi's official speaker, which was refuted by Mousavi's official site Ghalamnews. Makhmalbaf
Makhmalbaf
Makhmalbaf is an Iranian surname and may refer to:* Mohsen Makhmalbaf , Iranian film director* Samira Makhmalbaf , Iranian film director, daughter of Mohsen Makhmalbaf...

 then claimed that Ghalamnews is hacked, which was refuted this time by Ghalamnews, Kaleme, and officials at Mousavi's campaign headquarter, which repeated that only these two sites and his campaign headquarter are reliable sources for Mousavi's position and people should not consider any other source as reliable.

The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

quoted an employee of the Interior Ministry claiming that "the government had been preparing its fraud for weeks, purging anyone of doubtful loyalty and importing pliable staff members from around the country." The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

stated that "dissident employees of the Interior Ministry... have reportedly issued an open letter" saying that the election was stolen. The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

has also mentioned "reports of a leaked interior ministry figures allegedly suggesting Mousavi had won", although the article questioned the credibility of the report.

The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

reported on 17 June 2009 that an Iranian news website identified at least 30 polling sites with turnout over 100% and 200 sites with turnout over 95%. On 21 June 2009, a spokesman from the Guardian Council
Guardian Council
The Guardian Council of the Constitution , also known as the Guardian Council or Council of Guardians, is an appointed and constitutionally-mandated 12-member council that wields considerable power and influence in the Islamic Republic of Iran....

 (an organ of the Iranian government) stated that the number of votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters in no more than 50 cities, something the Council argued was a normal phenomenon which had taken place in previous elections as people are not obliged to vote where registered (when they have been born).

On 18 June, Iranian film makers Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian-born French contemporary graphic novelist, illustrator, animated film director, and children's book author...

 and Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf is an Iranian film director, writer, editor, and producer. During 2007 he was the president of Asian Film Academy.Makhmalbaf's films have been widely presented in international film festivals in the past ten years. The multi-award-winning director, belongs to the new wave...

 appeared before Green Party members in the European Parliament to present a document allegedly received from a member of the Iranian electoral commission claiming that that Mir Hossein Mousavi had actually won the election, and that the conservative incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad had received only 12% of the vote.

Result


Analysis



The published evidence supporting an election fraud may only show the possibility of an election fraud. Some of them are based on the unexpectedness of announced results by supporters of Mousavi. So far no credible evidence has been published which would indicate that a major fraud has happened in fact. Most of official objections to the election filed by Mousavi are related to issues before election like misuse of government resources by Ahmadinejad in his election campaign. Several analysis has been published rejecting the claims that Ahmadinejad did not win the election. A comprehensive analysis by Eric A. Brill of claimed evidence published by Mousavi and other activists (including those listed below) has concluded that there are no grounds to suspect the occurrence of fraud. For example, Mousavi claimed that over 10 million people had voted without proper identification, but his official complaint mentioned only 31 such voters. Widespread ballot-box stuffing was alleged, but no single stuffed box has ever been identified. Buying and selling of votes was alleged, but Mousavi has identified only four instances, and failed to provide any evidence. Thousands or millions of Mousavi votes were claimed to have been thrown away and replaced by Ahmadinejad votes, but no one has identified any of the perpetrators, nor mentioned exactly where or how this was accomplished. Vote counts from the field, approved in writing by Mousavi's observers, were said to have been altered by the Interior Ministry, but nobody has identified a single ballot box ­where this occurred even though the data has long been available to compare the counts for all 45,692 ballot boxes. Western polling organizations have repeated that the official result of election is consistent with their pre and post election polls.

On the other hand, several supporters of green movement have continued to repeat the evidence supporting the alleged vote rigging.
Reza Esfandiari and Yousef Bozorgmehr also maintain that the election data does comport to a natural outcome, allowing for some possible fraud at the local level.

Mohtashami, former interior minister of Iran, who was in the election monitoring committee of Mousavi's campaign claimed that according to official censuses, the number of counted votes in 70 municipalities were more than the number of eligible voters who lived in those regions. In all those cities Ahmadinejad won by 80% to 90% However, "excess votes" have been common in all Iranian elections partly due to the way eligible voters are counted. For example, the Interior Ministry based their calculation of eligible voters on birth certificate registrations. Iranians do not register to vote and hundreds of thousands regularly vote outside their own regions. Shemiran
Shemiran
Shemiran is the capital of Shemiranat County, Tehran Province, Iran, but is actually located just north of the borders of Tehran County along Chamran Expressway and Sadr Expressway and it is the northernmost district of the city of Tehran....

, which had the highest excess voter turnout (13 times the number of eligible voters), overwhelmingly voted for Mousavi.

On 17 June, Tabnak, the news agency close to defeated candidate Mohsen Rezaei who got only 678,240 votes in the election stated that "Mohsen Rezaei, until yesterday afternoon, found evidence that proves at least 900,000 Iranians, who had sent in their national ID card numbers, voted for [him]." However, there is no way of independently verifying whether those who disclosed their ID numbers had actually voted for Rezaei.

BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba found abnormalities in the way results were announced. Instead of results by province, the "results came in blocks of millions of votes," with very little difference between the blocks in the percentages going to each candidate. This suggested that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did equally well in rural and urban areas, while his three opponents did equally badly in their home regions and provinces as in the rest of the country. This contradicted "all precedent in Iranian politics", where Ahmadinejad had been very popular in rural areas and unpopular in the big cities, where ethnic minorities had favored anti-establishment candidates, and where candidates had tended to carry their home provinces.

Another anomaly, according to British-based researcher Ali Alizadeh, is that a large turnout did not favor the opposition, since in elections, both in Iran and abroad, "those who usually don’t vote, i.e. the silent majority, only come out when they want to change the status quo."

According to modern Middle Eastern and South Asian historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 Juan Cole
Juan Cole
John Ricardo I. "Juan" Cole is an American scholar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia. He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on...

, there were several anomalies in the election results. Official reports gave Ahmadinejad 50% of the vote in the city of Tabriz
Tabriz
Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

 despite the fact that this was the capital of Mousavi's home province, Eastern Azerbaijan, where Mousavi's rallies were well attended and which has traditionally given good turnouts for even "minor presidential candidates" who came from the province. Ahmadinejad also won Tehran province by over 50%, but crucially lost to Mousavi in the actual city of Tehran and was also soundly beaten in the affluent suburb of Shemiran
Shemiran
Shemiran is the capital of Shemiranat County, Tehran Province, Iran, but is actually located just north of the borders of Tehran County along Chamran Expressway and Sadr Expressway and it is the northernmost district of the city of Tehran....

 to the north of the capital.

Protests


Clashes broke out between police and groups protesting the election results from early morning on Saturday onward. Initially, the protests were largely peaceful. However, as time passed, they became increasingly violent. Some protesters began to get violent after the results of the election were announced. Angry crowds in Tehran broke into shops, tore down signs, and smashed windows. Civil unrest took place as protesters set fire to tyres outside the Interior Ministry building and others formed a human chain
Human chain
A human chain is a form of demonstration in which people link their arms as a show of political solidarity.The number of demonstrators involved in a human chain is often disputed; the organizers of the human chain often report higher numbers than governmental authorities.Notable human chains, in...

 of around 300 people to close off a major Tehran street.

The demonstrations grew bigger and more heated than the 1999 student protests. Al Jazeera English described the 13 June situation as the "biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution." It also reported that protests seemed spontaneous without any formal organization. Two hundred people protested outside Iran's embassy in London on 13 June. Ynet
Ynet
Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

 stated that "tens of thousands" protested on 13 June. Demonstrators chanted phrases such as "Down with the dictator", "Death to the dictator", and "Give us our votes back". Mousavi urged for calm and asked that his supporters refrain from acts of violence.

Ynet
Ynet
Ynet is the most popular Israeli news and general content website. It is owned by the same conglomerate that operates Yediot Ahronot, the country's secondleading daily newspaper...

 reported on 14 June that two people had died in the rioting so far. That day, protests had been organized in front of the Iranian embassies in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, Sydney, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

. In response to the reformist protests, tens of thousands of people rallied in Tehran on 14 June to support the victory of Ahmadinejad.

On 15 June, Mousavi rallied, with anywhere from hundreds of thousands to three million, of his supporters in Tehran, despite being warned by state officials that any such rally would be illegal. The demonstration, the largest in the Islamic Republic of Iran's 30-year history, was Mousavi's first public appearance after the election. Protests focused around Azadi Tower
Azadi Tower
The Azadi Tower , previously known as the Shahyād Āryāmehr , is the symbol of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and marks the entrance to the city.-Construction:...

, around which lines of people stretched for more than nine kilometers met. Gunshots were reported to have been fired at the rally, where Mousavi had spoken to his supporters saying, "The vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person." All three opposition candidates appeared.

Competing rallies for Mousavi and for Ahmadinejad took place on 16 June. The pro-Ahmadinejad protesters, chanting the phrases "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!", outnumbered their opponents, but they did not match the numbers of opponents who had protested the day before. Reports from the state media and elsewhere stated on 16 June that seven people have died in all of the protests so far. However, The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

quoted a Rasoul Akram Hospital nurse that day who asserted that 28 people have suffered from "bullet wounds" and eight have died so far. Over half a million reformist Iranians marched silently from Haft-e-Tir Square to Vali Asr Square on 17 June. The National Iranian American Council
National Iranian American Council
The National Iranian American Council is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization "dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community." Trita Parsi is the organization's current president and founder.-Formation:...

 stated that day that 32 people had died protesting so far.

Government actions



Arrests



On the weekend of 13 and 14 June, in a series of raids across Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

, the government arrested over 170 people, according to police officials. Among them were prominent reformist politicians, including MIRO
Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization
Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization , sometimes abbreviated to MIRO, is a reformist Iranian political organization. It is a small yet influential organization, and participates in political activities similar to a political party...

 founder Behzad Nabavi
Behzad Nabavi
Behzad Nabavi is an Iranian politician. He served as Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Iran and was one of the founders of the reformist party Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization...

, IIPF
Islamic Iran Participation Front
The Islamic Iran Participation Front is a reformist political party in Iran...

 leader Mohsen Mirdamadi
Mohsen Mirdamadi
Mohsen Mirdamadi, was an organizer of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, a member of the parliament of Iran from 2000-2004, and the "head of the largest pro-reform party" in Iran, Islamic Iran Participation Front since 2006....

, and former president Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami
Sayyid Mohammad Khātamī is an Iranian scholar, philosopher, Shiite theologian and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth President of Iran from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture in both the 1980s and 1990s...

's brother Mohammad-Reza Khatami, who was later released. Also arrested were Mostafa Tajzadeh
Mostafa Tajzadeh
Seyyed Mostafa Tajzadeh is an Iranian progressive, reformist politician, and a member of Islamic Iran Participation Front .-Political career:...

 and Mohsen Aminzadeh
Mohsen Aminzadeh
Mohsen Aminzadeh , born 1957 in Mashhad, Iran, is an Iranian reformist diplomat and politician. Aminzadeh was a founding member of the largest reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front...

, whom the IRNA said were involved in orchestrating protests on 13 June. Anonymous sources said that the police stormed the headquarters of the IIPF and arrested a number of people. Iranian journalist Mashallah Shamsolvaezin claimed that Mousavi was put under house arrest
House arrest
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all...

, although officials denied this. An estimated 200 people were detained after clashes with students at Tehran university, although many were later released.

Acting Police Chief Ahmad-Reza Radan
Ahmad-Reza Radan
Brigadier-General Ahmad Reza Radan is Deputy Commander of the Iranian police and as Tehran's police chief, infamous for his crackdown on "unIslamic" hair and dress style....

 stated via the state press service on the 14th that “in the interrogation of related rebels, we intend to find the link between the plotters and foreign media". A judiciary spokesman said they had not been arrested but that they were summoned, "warned not to increase tension," and later released. Intelligence minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei
Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejehei
Hojjatol-Islam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje'i was the head of the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran from 2005 to July 2009, when he was abruptly dismissed. On August 24, 2009 he was appointed prosecutor general of the country by new judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani. He has also held a number...

 linked some arrests to terrorism supported from outside Iran, stating that "more than 20 explosive consignments were discovered". Others, he said, were "counter-revolutionary groups" who had "penetrated election headquarters" of the election candidates.

On 16 June, Reuters reported that former vice-president Mohammad-Ali Abtahi and former presidential advisor Saeed Hajjarian
Saeed Hajjarian
Saeed Hajjarian is an Iranian intellectual, prominent journalist, pro-democracy activist and university lecturer. He has been an intelligence official, a member of Tehran's city council, and advisor to president Mohammad Khatami...

 had been arrested. Human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani
Abdolfattah Soltani
Abdolfattah Soltani is a well-known Iranian human rights lawyer, and spokesman for the Defenders of Human Rights Center, which was co-founded by the Nobel Peace Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi. He has twice been incarcerated in the Islamic Republic of Iran for political offences in 2005 and 2009...

, who had been demanding a recount of all votes, was also arrested on the Tuesday according to Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi
Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. On 10 October 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's,...

, who said that security officials had posed as clients. Over 100 students were arrested after security forces fired tear gas at protesters at Shiraz university
Shiraz University
Shiraz University , formerly known as Pahlavi University, is a public university located in Shiraz, Iran. It is one of the major universities of Iran....

 on the same day. Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 reported that 5 of 11 arrested journalists were still detention as of 16 June, and that a further 10 journalists were unaccounted for and may have been arrested.

On 17 June, former foreign minister and secretary-general of the Freedom Movement of Iran
Freedom Movement of Iran
The Freedom Movement of Iran is an Iranian political organization which was founded in 1961 by Mehdi Bazargan, Mahmoud Taleghani, Yadollah Sahabi, Mostafa Chamran, Ali Shariati, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh and some other political or religious figures...

, Ebrahim Yazdi
Ebrahim Yazdi
Ebrahim Yazdi is an Iranian politician and diplomat who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan, until his resignation in November 1979, in protest to the Iran hostage crisis...

, was arrested while undergoing tests at Pars hospital in Tehran. He was held overnight in Evin Prison
Evin Prison
Evin House of Detention is a prison in Iran, located in Evin, northwestern Tehran. It is noted for its political prisoners' wing, where prisoners have been held both before and after the 1979 Iranian Revolution...

 before being released and returning to hospital, where according to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 he remained under guard. In Tabriz
Tabriz
Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

, other Freedom Movement activists and eight members of the IIPF were arrested, with reports of at least 100 civic figures' arrests. The total number of arrests across Iran since the election was reported as 500.

Aaron Rhodes
Aaron Rhodes
Aaron Rhodes is an international human rights activist, university lecturer and essayist based in Hamburg, Germany. He served as Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights between 1993 and 2007, during which period the IHF was engaged inter alia in human rights...

, a spokesman for the international campaign for human rights in Iran, stated that "Iranian intelligence and security forces are using the public protests to engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals whose situations in detention could be life-threatening". In Isfahan Province, prosecutor-general Mohammadreza Habibi warned that dissidents could face execution under Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

.

Censorship allegations


According to the Telegraph, on 14 June "Iran's regime was doing its utmost to choke off the flow of news from its capital." Reporters from the Italian public television broadcaster RAI
RAI
RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A. known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane, is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development. Rai is the biggest television company in Italy...

 stated that one of its interpreters was beaten with clubs by riot police and the officers then confiscated the cameraman's tapes. The Al Arabiya
Al Arabiya
Al Arabiya is a Pan-Arabist Saudi-owned Arabic-language television news channel. Launched on March 3, 2003, the channel is based in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates, and is majority-owned by the Saudi broadcaster Middle East Broadcasting Center ....

's offices in Tehran were closed on 14 June for a week by Iranian authorities, who gave no explanation for the decision. Meanwhile, the director of BBC World Service
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...

 accused the Iranian Government of jamming its broadcasts to the country. Peter Horrocks said audiences in Iran, the Middle East and Europe had been affected by an electronic block on satellites used to broadcast the BBC Persian Television signal to Iran, adding: "It seems to be part of a pattern of behaviour by the Iranian authorities to limit the reporting of the aftermath of the disputed election".

Al Jazeera English leveled allegations of direct media censorship by the Iranian government, stating that "some of the newspapers have been given notices to change their editorials or their main headlines". BBC correspondent John Simpson was arrested, his material confiscated, and then released. NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

offices in Tehran were raided, with cameras and other equipment confiscated. ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

reporter Jim Sciutto also has had material taken. People from the German public broadcasters ZDF
ZDF
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen , ZDF, is a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz . It is run as an independent non-profit institution, which was founded by the German federal states . The ZDF is financed by television licence fees called GEZ and advertising revenues...

and ARD
ARD (broadcaster)
ARD is a joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters...

have been harassed as well, with men carrying batons and knives reportedly storming the ARD's Tehran office. A BBC corporate official has referred to the network's conflict with the regime as 'electronic warfare
Electronic warfare
Electronic warfare refers to any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults via the spectrum. The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly...

'.

On 13 June 2009, when thousands of opposition supporters clashed with the police, Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 was filtered again. Some news websites were also blocked by the Iranian authorities. Mobile phone services including text messaging also stopped or became very difficult to use. Specifically, all websites affiliated with the BBC were shut off, as were ones with The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

. Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 labeled the actions "ominous measures apparently seeking to undercut liberal voices". The restrictions were likely intended to prevent Mousavi's supporters from organizing large-scale protests. The protesters used phone calls, e-mails and word of mouth to get around the measures.

Ahmadinejad has responded to concerns by saying, "[d]on't worry about freedom in Iran... Newspapers come and go and reappear. Don't worry about it." In response to the crackdown, anti-regime activists have repeatedly taken down Ahmadinejad's and Khamenei's websites. According to CNN, the United States State Department has worked with Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 to expand the website's access in Iran.

Recount


Due to protests, from the opposition, the Supreme Leader approved a partial recount of the results. The recount was random counting of 10% of the ballots. In order to create transparency, a 12 member council, showed the recount on television, and concluded that President Ahmadinejad still led Mousavi after the recount. After the recount, the Guardian council certified the election, and concluded no evidence of irregularities, and closed the dossier on the election.

Scapegoats



The Iranian government has blamed the unrest on a variety of targets, including the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 who have served as "canaries in the coal mine of Iran’s theocracy" as Iran's largest religious minority by their persecution
Persecution of Bahá'ís
The persecution of Bahá'ís is the religious persecution of Bahá'ís in various countries, especially in Iran, where the Bahá'í Faith originated and the location of one of the largest Bahá'í populations in the world...

 and as "scapegoats". The Speaker of the Iranian Parliament even claimed that BBC stands for Bahá'í Broadcasting Company and other allegations of Bahá'í involvement with other powers
Allegations of Bahá'í involvement with other powers
Opponents of the Bahá'í Faith, especially certain Iranians, have accused the faith's followers of dual loyalty and of being involved with foreign or hostile powers. These accusations are used to justify persecution of this religious minority....

 like the Israeli, British and American governments though these accusations have little to do with the religion and rather seem to be an part of an Islamic repertoire of what a heresy is supposed to look like and are "categorically rejected" by the Bahá'ís.

Iranian political reactions


  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
    Ali Khamenei
    Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

     initially urged the country to unite behind Ahmadinejad, labeling a victory by him as a "divine assessment." On 15 June, however, he ordered an investigation into the claims of vote fraud. Referring to Mousavi's appeal letter about the irregularities, Khamenei said that "the Guardian Council has been emphasized to carry out investigation into this letter carefully," and probe allegations of Ahmadinejad cheating.
  • Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said that he had not received any "written complaint" about election fraud or irregularities. He also remarked that the vote proceeded in a way that "ruled out the possibility of cheating."
  • Chairman of the Assembly of Experts
    Assembly of Experts
    The Assembly of Experts of Iran , also translated as Council of Experts, is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.Members of the assembly are elected from a government-screened list of candidates by...

     Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
    Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
    Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...

     was reported to have called a meeting of the Assembly, as they have the constitutional power to elect and dismiss the Supreme Leader.
  • Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a live address on state run television on 13 June, called the election "completely free" and the outcome "a great victory" for Iran. He also said, "[t]oday, the people of Iran have inspired other nations and disappointed their ill-wishers... propaganda facilities outside Iran and sometimes inside Iran were totally mobilized against our people." Ahmadinejad praised the country’s youth as well, but made no direct mention of the protests. He later dismissed the protests, comparing them to "the passions after a football match." In his 25 September 2009 speech at the UN he stated “Our nation has successfully gone through a glorious and successfully democratic election, ... They entrusted me once more with a large majority ..."
  • Mir-Hossein Mousavi
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi
    Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh is an Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989. He was a Reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election...

    , the main opposition candidate, issued a statement saying, "I'm warning that I won't surrender to this manipulation." Mousavi lodged an official appeal against the result to the Guardian Council on 14 June. He is not optimistic about his appeal, saying that many of the group's members "during the election were not impartial".
  • Reformist cleric Mehdi Karroubi
    Mehdi Karroubi
    Mehdi Karroubi is an influential Iranian reformist politician, democracy activist, mojtahed, and chairman of the National Trust Party. He was Chairman of the parliament from 1989 to 1992 and 2000 to 2004, and a presidential candidate in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.He is a founding...

    , another opposition candidate, echoed Mr. Mousavi’s demand for the election to be canceled. He said, "I am announcing again that the elections should not be allowed and the results have no legitimacy or social standing... Therefore, I do not consider Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the republic." He later declared in a speech to his supporters in Khoramabad that "this phase [Election dispute] will not subside until we [Reformist leaders] suggest so".
  • Mohsen Rezai, On 17 June, he gave an ultimatum to Interior Ministry to release details of the results by that day, otherwise he would call for a new election. He said "The unprecedented delay has raised doubts about the possibility of manipulation in the results." However, on 24 July he withdrew formal complaints filed with the Guardian Council, saying that "The [current] political, social and security situation has entered a sensitive and decisive phase, which is more important than the election".
  • Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, a former Iranian parliamentary speaker, called on Mousavi to concede defeat, saying that then "everyone will benefit".
  • The Association of Combatant Clerics, a moderate reformist clerical body which former President Khatami
    Khatami
    -Politicians:* Mohammad Khatami , Iranian reformist President, former President of Iran * Mohammad Reza Khatami , Iranian reformist politician, Vice Speaker of Iranian Parliament and brother of Mohammad Khatami...

     is a member of, issued a statement posted on reformist web sites saying the election was rigged and calling for it to be canceled, warning that "if this process becomes the norm, the republican aspect of the regime will be damaged and people will lose confidence in the system."
  • Former Foreign Minister Ibrahim Yazdi has said, "[w]e don't have any doubt. And as far as we are concerned, it is not legitimate. There were many, many irregularities." He also described the process as a "coup". On 17 June, he was arrested and transferred to prison.
  • Reformist politician Ata'ollah Mohajerani
    Ata'ollah Mohajerani
    Ata'ollah Mohajerani , , is an Iranian historian, politician, journalist, and author. Ata`ollah Mohajerani served as Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran under reformist President Mohammad Khatami until 2000 when he was resigned from office for alleged permissiveness."-Overview:Dr...

     blasted the election as "The End of the Islamic Republic".
  • Hadi Ghaemi, spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
    International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
    International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran is a non-government organization that works to bring international attention on what it views as the Iranian government’s repression of human rights and civil liberties in Iran. It is based in the United States...

    , denounced the outcome. He also compared the government's post-election activities to those of the Chinese government during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
    Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
    The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese , were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China beginning on 15 April 1989...

    .
  • In a letter published on his website, reformist cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri
    Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri
    Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri Najafabadi was a prominent Iranian scholar, Islamic theologian, Shiite Islamic democracy advocate, writer and human rights activist. He was one of the leaders of the Iranian Revolution in 1979...

     stated that government used elections "in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and to counter people protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists."
  • The Iranian national soccer team playing in their World Cup Qualifier wore green wristbands in support for Mousavi.
  • Popular classical
    Classical music
    Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

     musician Mohammad Reza Shajarian
    Mohammad Reza Shajarian
    Mohammad-Reza Shajarian is an internationally and critically acclaimed Persian traditional singer, composer and ostad of Persian music...

     demanded that Iranian government television and radio never play his music again after Ahmadinejad called Mousavi supporters "brushwood and thorns". Shajarian remarked, "my voice is like brushwood and thorns".
  • British politician George Galloway
    George Galloway
    George Galloway is a British politician, author, journalist and broadcaster who was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010. He was formerly an MP for the Labour Party, first for Glasgow Hillhead and later for Glasgow Kelvin, before his expulsion from the party in October 2003, the same year...

     has stated that Ahmadinejad "is the president of an important country and we'll just have to accept it."
  • According to three Iranian newspapers 105 of 290 members of the Iranian Parliament invited to attend a 24 June victory party for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended the event, suggesting, according to the American New York Times newspaper, "a deep divide within the political elite over the election and its aftermath."
  • In his 19 June address to the nation after Friday prayers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
    Ali Khamenei
    Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

     defended the reputations of Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri despite the fact that "Never before have I mentioned people by name in the Friday prayer sermons" adding that "The live televised debates were a positive step, but these (accusations against fellow candidates) should be removed. After the debates, I had a talk with the president because I knew he would listen to me." This amounted to a criticism of Ahmadinejad, who had made accusations against Nateq-Nouri's family during the debate and had accused Rafsanjani of being "corrupt" and whom had had called "the main puppet master."

International reactions



Many western countries expressed doubt about the result and/or reacted in favour of protestors. Other countries, namely Brazil and some other Asian countries, amongst others, welcomed the result.

External links


Official links

Images

Video testimonies
  • Iranian Stories - webdocumentary disseminating and collecting eye witness testimonies of 2009 Iran election


Election aftermath